Submitted to: Southeastern Naturalist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2007
Publication Date: 12/15/2008
Citation: Hribar, L., Henry, T.J. 2008. Empicoris subparallelus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), a predatory bug new to the fauna of Florida. Southeastern Naturalist. 90:738-741. Interpretive Summary: Members of the true bug family commonly called assassin bugs get their name from their voracious predatory feeding habits. About 160 species of assassin bugs are reported from North America, with the wheel bug being one of the largest and most well known. Assassin bugs are commonly found on agricultural crops and are extensively used in biocontrol programs to control aphids, Caterpillars, thrips, and mites, all serious pests causing many millions of dollars damage annually. This paper presents the first Florida record of a species of assassin bug previously known in the United States only from Texas. Its probable origin is Cuba or Mexico. Information presented on its distribution, associated plants, and potential prey will be of interest to Federal and state regulatory agencies documenting invasive species and researchers working with natural enemies of agricultural pests.
Technical Abstract: The predatory hemipteran Empicoris subparallelus McAtee and Malloch, belonging to the family Reduviidae, subfamily Emesinae is reported from Grassy Key, Key Largo, Long Point Key, and No Name Key in the Florida Keys. This is a new species record for the Florida fauna, and only the second state record for the United States. A diagnosis, description, and digital images of the adult are provided to help distinguish this species from other species of Empicoris in Florida.